The industry (and Airbus) has yet to be convinced of the merits to reengine the A380. But the project clearly has one big fan: Emirates Airline President Tim Clark. “My own view is that this is what we should do as the main player,” he told Aviation Week at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general meeting in Doha, Qatar.

Clark said that the parties involved – Emirates, Airbus and most likely Rolls-Royce – have “not actually engaged in the details of what that airplane will do.” But he believes that it would deliver 8-12% improvement in operating economics which would likely come from the engine, aerodynamic improvements, wing changes and a larger winglet. Although Emirates has now moved away from the idea of an 11-abreast cabin on the main deck, the airline is still looking at other ways to increase the seat count. “When we did the A380 in the early days I don’t think we optimized the space as best we could,” Clark said. “We were faced with a 500-seater and that is an awful lot of seats...but the demand for it is so strong that we now have to take the two decks back to bare metal and rebuild them."

Emirates Sees Rolls-Royce As Only A380neo Engine Supplier

Clark leaves no doubt that if Airbus launches the aircraft and the new Dubai airport has the space, Emirates will order more A380s to grow the fleet further.

AUDIO: Tim Clark tells us why he wants Airbus to reengine the A380